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June 2019 Archives

Estate planning and annual gifts

Recently on this blog, we discussed the federal estate tax and noted that its exemption is now set at $11.4 million. Since Texas has no state estate tax, and few Texas individuals leave behind an estate worth more than $11.4 million, most Texas families need not concern themselves with estate taxes when they are preparing their estate plans.

Clearing up some estate tax myths

Estate planning and probate are subjects that can profoundly affect people's lives, and yet they don't come up very often in conversation. One of the few occasions on which the popular news media will discuss the subjects is when there is a courtroom battle over a famous person's will. Another is when there is a political battle over the estate tax.

What does an estate administrator do?

Under Texas law, people can become administrator of an estate through several ways. Perhaps the most familiar is a situation in which an executor is appointed in the text of the will. In other cases, the court must appoint an administrator. In most of these court-appointed cases, the heirs must agree to the choice of administrator.

If you own guns, you may need this estate-planning tool

Owning firearms is a right given to you by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Even so, you remain responsible for following the laws, rules and regulations that come with that ownership. In fact, in order to own some weapons, you need to receive permission from the federal government.

Report on artist's business reveals risk of undue influence

Peter Max is one of the best-known visual artists in the world. His brightly colored artwork symbolized the pop art and psychedelic art movements of the 1960s and '70s, and has only grown more popular since then. He has been named the official artist for numerous sports events, including the Super Bowl, the World Series and the World Cup, and his work has adorned album covers, U.S. postage stamps and even the side of a cruise ship. Indeed, in recent years many of his works have been sold at galleries aboard cruise ships.